Morning Reads

Good morning! Happy National Spinach Day, and a happy 83rd birthday to Leonard Nimoy! He’s lived long and he’s prospered.

Stat of the day: 69 percent — share of voters who say they would be “more likely to vote in an election if a proposal to legalize marijuana was on the ballot,” according to a new George Washington University Battleground poll. Via HuffPo.

A day at the court –> Ian Millhiser watched oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby case, and reports for ThinkProgress that Justice Anthony Kennedy seems to think it’s related to abortion, which Millhiser says bodes poorly for the ACA’s contraception mandate.

The high crime of being a Dem –> At The American Prospect,┬áSteve Erickson writes, “On the right, impeachment has become the wildfire crucible, and the purest purity test yet,” and predicts that it will be an unspoken “stealth issue of the upcoming congressional contest.”

Speaking of the midterms –> At TNR, Nora Caplan-Bricker reports that House Dems will file a long-shot discharge petition on immigration reform today with the hope of making it a key issue in November.

Looming oligarchy –> Robert Reich writes on his eponymous blog that “the vast wealth that has accumulated at the top of the American economy is not itself the problem. The problem is that political power tends to rise to where the money is. And this combination of great wealth with political power leads to greater and greater accumulations and concentrations of both — tilting the playing field in favor of the Kochs and their ilk, and against the rest of us.” AND: WaPo’s Aaron Blake has a chart showing that the Koch brothers political machine is “dominating the Senate ad race.” ALSO, TOO: HuffPo’s Sam Stein notes that over half of the public has no clue who the Kochs are — but of those Americans who do know who they are, the percentage with a negative opinion is twice the percentage with a positive opinion.

Myths, busted –> Over at MoJo, Erika Eichelberger has 10 of them about poverty in America.

The high cost of cheap partisanship –> Donna Cassata reports for the AP that the GOP’s various BENGHAZI!!! probes have cost the DoD “millions of dollars and thousands of hours of personnel time.” Via TPM.

Badlands –> Franco Ordonez reports for McClatchy that “a wave of Border Patrol shooting deaths of unarmed civilians along the US-Mexico line has drawn bipartisan scrutiny.”

Oily characters –> At Grist, Heather Smith reports that after Occidental Petroleum kept telling the city of Carson, Calif., different stories about whether it planned to use fracking in its new wells, the city council simplified things by becoming the first municipality in the Golden State to ban all oil drilling. At least for now.

Not going well –> At TNR, John Judis predicts that John Kerry’s effort to forge a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians looks like it will hit a dead end. He mostly blames Bibi Netanyahu for negotiating in bad faith.

Get out the pitchforks –> Ryan Cooper argues at The Week that Thomas Picketty’s much-discussed new book detailing the history of inequality represents a direct threat to the 1 percent.

Sensationalism spreads fast –> Did you hear about the proposed Massachusetts law that would require people in divorce proceedings to get a judge’s OK before having sex in their own homes? David Bernstein reports for Boston Magazine that it’s nonsense, and then traces its rapid spread across multiple news outlets.

Oopsie daisy –> David Edwards reports for The Raw Story that an Oklahoma pastor is filled with remorse because “his attempt to remove demons from the United States had worked a little too well, causing a severe drought to turn into massive flooding” in Texas.

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